The Beaumont Emergency Department is charging residents for their carpool and for urgent care when they need them, the hospital said Thursday.
It is the latest move by the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital System to boost its emergency room capacity, which is in dire straits amid a state budget crisis.
The move follows a similar move by Kaiser Permanente in December.
In that case, Kaiser said it would charge $2.50 for each vehicle that it was willing to rent, which meant drivers had to use a carpool or pick up a nurse or other physician if they did not need to use their own car.
The hospital said in the announcement Thursday that it would also offer a $2 discount to anyone who used an Uber or Lyft in the first three days of their car rental.
That is the same discount that Kaiser is offering to people who use their personal carpools, including those who do not need it for health care.
The Beaumons emergency room is about 100 beds short of capacity, according to an April 2016 study by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Last year, the emergency room had about 2,300 beds.
The hospital said it was testing the idea of charging drivers a premium for the privilege of being in their own cars, with the goal of creating more drivers.
“It’s a win-win for us because we can provide better care to our patients while also providing the most efficient, most effective emergency room for patients,” Beaumans emergency room director and chief medical officer, Dr. Thomas Loughlin, said in a statement.
“We are committed to providing our patients with the highest-quality, most efficient emergency care.”